Now, more than ever before, employers are looking for ways to cut back on all of their costs including reducing valuable benefits such as the employee assistance program. At the same time, more and more corporations including life and disability carriers, payroll companies and health insurance providers are wrapping “free” EAP’s into their services. Employers who are already reducing expenses, may choose to eliminate the stand-alone EAP they are currently paying for, especially if they are now getting a “free” EAP.
As an employer you should have all of your facts when choosing an EAP as part of a package deal with your other benefits. First of all, nothing is really FREE and you are paying for this program as part of your other plans. Secondly, the old saying, “you get what you pay for” almost always holds true for employee assistance programs. You may be getting a basic referral service, either a telephonic program or a referral program, whereby an employee calls for a referral and gets a certain number of sessions with a counselor for free. But often, employees are left to their own devices to call a number of counselors to see if they have an opening. Often they are given nothing more than a few phone numbers and no follow-up with the client is ever made to ensure that their needs were being met. In addition, often there is only a minimal assessment of the clients situation before they are referred out. Supportive telephone counseling on the first contact can make all the difference for clients in distress.
As an employer, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Does your EAP conduct management consultations?
2. Do you get regular utilization reports?
3. Does the EAP have staff counselors answering the phone twenty-four hours a day?
4. Is your EAP able to see clients the same day?
5. Does your EAP provide case management services, including crisis management, assistance with performance problems and drug and alcohol testing?
6. Do the EAP counselors provide ongoing follow-up for up to two years?
7. Does your EAP have expertise with drug and alcohol issues with in-house addiction counselors?
If you can’t answer affirmatively to the questions listed above, you may want to consider switching to a more full service EAP with a low yearly rate. By providing a personalized, high quality, yet affordable EAP, you will be receiving a solid return on your investment while retaining valuable employees, increasing morale and performance and ensuring your employees are receiving the help they need.
If you are interested in learning more about our program, please feel free to contact me for more information.
We have 34 year of experience and our only business is employee assistance.